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More on Clutch Hitting

For some reason - perhaps because I was so nasty - I've gotten a ton of feedback on my post below about Dejan Kovacevic's clutch hitting argument.

One person suggested I'm not actually making much of my own argument, which is true. The reason why I didn't is because there's a ton of literature out there on this subject, much of it written by people with far greater access to and ability with the data than I.

There is, as I suggested in my last post, lots of statistical evidence to suggest that if clutch hitting is a skill, it doesn't matter very much.

Interested readers may want to begin with these writers. The debate really starts with them.

Rob Neyer explains what's going on.

Andy Dolphin describes clutch hitting as an important skill, but it's not nearly as important as some would have us believe, and it's a very difficult skill to identify with certainty in a single player.

Tangotiger says that the most "clutch" hitters from 1999-2002 improved their team by about two runs per year from their clutchness. (Amusingly, Tangotiger says these players were Miguel Tejada and Jason Giambi, who both played for the A's at the time. The A's were regularly savaged by anti-stat journalists for not being clutch enough to succeed in the playoffs.)

Bill James' "Mapping the Fog" and Phil Birnbaum's response.